Delicious DIRT. Estate on the Riverfront, Chicago Brings Home the Nods, & Never Too Many Donuts

DIRT Inside: Estate Ultra Bar, Chris Turano, Dan De Los Monteros, 2012 JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards, Bistronomic, Next, The Aviary, The Violet Hour, Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia, Carrie Nahabedian, Naha, Patrick Fahy, Café des Architectes, Mindy Segal, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, Tru, Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality, Topolobampo, Sepia, Dave Beran, Matthew Kirkley, L2O, David Posey, Matthew Carlson, Schwa, Stephanie Izard, Girl and the Goat, Martial Noguier, Chris Nugent, Goosefoot, Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Giuseppe Tentori, GT Fish & Oyster, Andrew Zimmerman, Do-Rite Donuts, Petterino’s.

Never Too Much of a GOOD THING: Do-Rite Donuts Opens in Loop

Bacon + Donuts = LOVE @DoRiteDonuts

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again! DONUTS ARE THE NEW CUPCAKES. We learned via Grub Street Chicago, that THIS morning @ 6:30 AM, Do-Rite Donuts opened in the Loop, attached to Petterino’s on Randolph. Francis Brennan and Jeff Mahin are the masterminds behind the latest addition to the doughnut line-up, bringing Lettuce Entertain You into the mix. And they’ve got some SERIOUS goodies in store: ranging from “gourmet” doughnuts (peanut butter + jelly + peanut better mousse topping) and “old-fashioned” cake doughnuts (topped with Tahitian vanilla or Valhrona chocolate) –> SO MUCH YUM. Definitely the next stop on our doughnut train. 50 W. Randolph.

NOW OPEN: Estate Ultra Bar is Rollin’ on the River

Peppadew Peppers by Estate Ultra Bar

Moving into some prime real-estate on the riverfront, Estate Ultra Bar is now open in River West.

This place is sure to be a summer smash – they have plenty of outdoor spaces, a semi-enclosed breezy gazebo, a riverfront dining area, and a sky lounge and sky deck on the roof. We can’t wait for it to HEAT UP! But chef Chris Turano and bartender Dan De Los Monteros are also bringing the goodies in the kitchen and behind the bar. TO EAT: the lobster mac-and-cheese has a Goldfish cracker crust, and the flight of red velvet cake pops with a Pop Rocks frosting – so playful yet so feisty (and look how FUN those peppadew peppers are)! TO DRINK: if you’re in the Girl Scout cookie mood, the Thin Mint = Plymouth Gin, Ghiradelli White Chocolate Sauce, Marie Brizard White Mint Cream, Liqueur, Half & Half; and if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, the Whiskey for Breakfast = Russels Turkey Rye, Cardamaro Vino Amaro, Egg White, Maply Syrup, Lemon. (Also look out for sassy skinny cocktails like That’s What She Said, and Project Runway.) The Grand Opening Housewarming is this Wednesday, February 29, so see for yourself! 1177 N. Elston Ave.

Sweet Home Chicago! Congrats to the 2012 JBF Restaurant and Chef Award Nominations

Next's Delicious DIRT by James Goeke

The semifinalists for the 2012 JBF Restaurant and Chefs Awards nominations have been announced and we are OH SO PROUD of all the recognition some of our Chicago faves received! CONGRATS TO THE NOMINEES! As an FYI, the Beard Awards are the highest honor for food/beverage pros in North America, so props to ALL the nominees! And stay tuned for March 19: JBF will be announcing the narrowed down list of the Restaurant and Chef Award nominees, and we can’t wait to see which Chicago nominations will be on the list! In the meantime, check out the semifinalists:

Best New Restaurant



Outstanding Bar Program

The Aviary

The Violet Hour

Outstanding Chef

Paul Kahan, Blackbird

Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia

Carrie Nahabedian, Naha

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Patrick Fahy, Café des Architectes

Mindy Segal, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

Outstanding Restaurant


Outstanding Restauranteur

Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality

Outstanding Service



Outstanding Wine Program


Rising Star Chef of the Year

Dave Beran, Next

Matthew Kirkley, L20

David Posey, Blackbird

Best Chef, Great Lakes

Michael Carlson, Schwa

Stephanie Izard, Girl & the Goat

Martial Noguier, Bistronomic

Chris Nugent, Goosefoot

Bruce Sherman, North Pond

Giuseppe Tentori, GT Fish & Oyster

Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia


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